entrance steps and supplies

The front and back steps have been complete for about a week, and will retain this rustic look for a few years, likely. Apparently, if we try to finish the wood earlier, the anti-moisture treatment will cause any paint or stain to come off anyway. My kind of project! We can finish it when we are ready! Like 2020 or so. . . .
We also have tidy stacks of finishing products ready. The hardwood is curing, the trim and interior doors (not pictured. I forgot!) are hanging out, and the railing samples are awaiting the welder, who should be here tomorrow.




These are some of the windows that I think will need window coverings, in particular to keep the heat in in the winter and the heat out in the summer. The large south-facing windows (and to a lesser degree, the east-facing ones) will be contributing greatly to heating the house during the day, but we’d like to prevent them from heating the outdoors at night. The Mill Creek Net Zero house project looked into window coverings a bit. . . I’m wondering if the Hunter Douglas product might be a good one for us too.

The upstairs north- and northeast-facing corner windows (just behind the balcony in the first picture) are from the bedroom. Here, we would like something that can block the early-morning June 21st 4am sun, obscure the view from the outside in, and maybe also allow us to see out when pulled. A dream? Maybe. Isn’t there some kind of magic fabric that will do all this? While still having an insulating factor of more than R2? Just asking. . . .


knockdown ceilings

ceiling corner

Now there’s a word I didn’t know a month ago: knockdown. We wanted a modern ceiling, not that 60’s popcorn or the cracked and impossible-to-repair flat plaster ceiling in our 80+ year old house. We do like the look of a flat ceiling, but we were advised that they take much longer to prepare, and again, if there are any imperfections, they would be amplified (as with our current house). Apparently, knockdown is the current way to go, and that’s how we’ve gone.

ceiling at bulkhead

So, what is knockdown? There are some definitions online, but the best explanation we got was that it is spray-on mud compound, not unlike the old popcorn spray, that is then “knocked down” with a trowel. The first and second floor ceilings are all done this way, with the exception of the kitchen are, which has a lowered ceiling and has been finished as a smooth surface and will be painted.

The basement ceiling is another story completely, which I will save for another day.


basement wet room

Years ago, I went to Indonesia, and while there, learned to mandi. Some of the best were rooms of tiles on the floors and walls with a drain in the centre of the room and a dipper in a font of water to use to splash with. This idea stuck in my mind and I dreamed of a western bathroom with a drain in the middle: something I could hose down to clean, and it wouldn’t matter where they water splashed.

basement bathroom

basement bathroom lower tiles

Fast forward to our basement bathroom. Early on, we thought that we’d have a semi-wet room; that there would be a shower “area” with unenclosed glass walls separating it from the toilet and maybe sink, and tile over the floor, walls, and ceiling. But when the drain hole was plumbed further into the room than intended, and concrete set around it, our decision had been made. There would be no half walls: this was going to be a wet, splashy room. The tiling is almost complete; in the area where blue is showing, there will be one-inch red tiles (the blue is a water membrane). These pictures were taken while the tiler was cleaning up–therefore, there are some wipe-swirls in the tile. And, as there are no windows, the light obscures the tile colours. The lower colour is charcoal, and the upper colour is a tannish-cream.

basement bathroom upper tiles and bulkhead

This bathroom is accessible to the larger basement area, but by closing both doors outside in the hall-ish/ guest room area, the space begins to function as a suite. Friends and family who intend to visit us: this will be yours. We’ll even supply an empty ice cream tub to store the tp in for you, and a hook outside the room to hang your towel.


basement wood stove

As the mudding contributes a lot of moisture to the air, and the house has a tight envelope, and the temperature is starting to drop, we have had the basement wood stove installed. It looks great, and for a relatively small woodbox, it burns for a pretty long time. We’re still not sure exactly how long a stoked fire, dampered, will last, but after twelve hours, the coals and stove were still quite warm.

basement woodstove


and we have mud too

Mudding is almost complete, and looks really good. It’s getting easier to imagine how our lives are going to fit into this space, and how nicely the light will bounce around it and reflect back. Our mudder is fantastic, and when he isn’t mudding, is also a bull whisperer. As we don’t have a bull. . . I’m not sure how to comment on that side talent. Other than, “wow.”


we have drywall

It has been a long time coming. So, to celebrate, may I present fifty or so of my favourite pictures expressing the drywall beauty. Next up, mud & tape.

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